A brief history of Wagyu beef in Australia

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Wagyu beef is in high demand around the world. Although it originates from Japan, Australia is one of the key players in Wagyu beef production globally.

Wagyu beef is in high demand around the world. Although it originates from Japan, Australia is one of the key players in Wagyu beef production globally.

As the world’s largest breeder of pure and crossbred Wagyu cattle outside of Japan, Australia has its own regulating body called the Australian Wagyu Association that ensures the highest standards of Wagyu beef production are met nationally.

When did Wagyu beef arrive in Australia?

Australia received its first Wagyu genetics in 1990, and frozen semen and embryos have been available here since 1991. Influenced by Westholme Wagyu’s introduction of Wagyu cows to America, Australia initially received embryos from Westholme facilities in Iowa and Texas.

In 1997, the first five full-blood Japanese cattle were introduced to Australia. In 1999, a further 40 females and nine bulls were flown to Australia, some from the original Japanese born, others were full-bloods born on American soil.

In 2005 and 2006, all Westholme cattle across North America were slaughtered with most remaining semen and embryos shipped to Australia – this secured Australia’s place as one of the world’s premier Wagyu breeders.

Today, Australian Wagyu beef is sold globally, with 80-90% of produce exported and 10-20% sold domestically.

Fake Wagyu beef scandals

In less than thirty years, the Australian Wagyu beef industry has seen its fair share of controversies.

In 2012, Blackmore Wagyu Beef, a Victorian company who supplied Wagyu beef to some of Australia’s finest restaurants, fell victim to counterfeit meat being sold under their name. Trading on the famous name, five-star hotels and restaurants in China were falsely claiming to serve Blackmore Wagyu.

Similar accusations were made domestically. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched an investigation regarding false or misleading claims made by restaurants and vendors regarding Wagyu beef produced and marketed in Australia. In November 2015, the ACCC concluded their investigation and decided to take no further action.

Today, many Australian restaurants claim to serve Wagyu beef, but few use 100% Wagyu from elite full-blood Japanese cattle.

The Ribs & Burgers Wagyu promise

Our Wagyu beef is sourced from Mayura Station. Aussie-grown but with the full genetics of Japanese cattle, we get the best of both worlds for our customers while supporting Australian farmers.

Nestled in South Australia’s Limestone Coast, home to some of the best farming lands in the country, Mayura Station hosts one of the world’s most elite full-blood Wagyu breeding operations. The Mayura name guarantees pure quality, and it is the only Wagyu beef provider we use.

At Ribs and Burgers, you can rest assured that we serve only the best Australian-raised 100% Wagyu beef.

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